We live stressful day-to-day lives, mostly sedentary while at the office, followed by bursts of fitness at the gym. Part of a healthy lifestyle is listening to your body’s aches, pains, and needs. An easy way to mitigate some of the inevitable soreness that comes with working out is to stretch. Alternatively, you can choose to participate in some restorative yoga, if a group setting is something that motivates you.
Hip Flexor/Quad Stretch
Start off in a kneeling position on the floor with your shins on ground. Lunge your right leg in front of you and rest when it is at a 90 degree angle. Your foot will be right under your knee and your left leg will still be in the starting position on the floor. Place your hands on your out-streched knee and lean forward, pressing with your hips. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then release. Do three to four reps, then do the same with the opposite leg.
- Doorway Pec Stretch
Stand in an open doorway. With your palms facings outwards and fingers flexed towards the sky, forearm on the outer frame of the door. Place your left foot forward and lean into your arm, until your pec feels taught. Hold for the stretch for 8-12 seconds and switch arms.
Seated Trunk Twist
Sit upright on the floor with your legs extended together in front of you. Flex your core and rotate your ribcage while keeping your nose parallel to your breastbone and abs. Continue to rotate while lifting ribcage from hips. Try and grow as tall as you can and twist as far as you can. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then return to center.
- Tricep Stretch Combo: Overhead Triceps Stretch
Raise your right arm over head and then lock the elbow, bending behind your head. Now grab your right elbow with your left hand. Guide your right elbow down until you feel some tension. Keep your elbow taught for around 10 seconds and then release, switching arms
- Cross Body Triceps Stretch
Reach your right arm across body at about shoulder level. Place your left wrist on outside of the right elbow and pull your right arm gently toward body. Stop when you feel a stretch in the right triceps and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat on the opposite side.
Stand with your feet planted under your hips and knees slightly bent. Keep your arms by your side. Bend forward at the hips with your head lowering toward the floor, keeping the rest of your upper body relaxed. Wrap your arms around the back of your legs and hold for 1-2 minutes. Flex your knees and intense your body, slowly returning to rest.
Tip: If you’re not comfortable reaching that far, bend knees more and/or place hands on elevated surface, like yoga blocks.
Sit up straight on the floor with your knees bent outwards and the soles of your feet pressed together. Hold your feet with your hands, flex your core, and bend your body toward your feet as far as you are comfortable with. Hold for 1-2 minutes then release.
Grasp feet with hands, engage abs, and slowly lower body toward feet, going only as far as comfortable, and then holding there for 45 seconds to two minutes. Slowly release.
Figure 4 Stretch
Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on floor. Cross flexed right foot over left thigh, hook arms around left hamstring, and lift left foot a few inches, keeping back and shoulders on floor. Gently pull right leg in toward you, until you feel a stretch; hold for 45 seconds to two minutes. Lower back to start, switch legs and repeat.
Stand up straight and pull your right leg behind you with your right hand. With knee bent down toward the ground, pull your foot into your glutes. If necessary, place your opposite hand on the wall or a chair to steady yourself.
- Downward Dog
Start on all fours,with your hands shoulder-width apart and knees planted under your hips. Slightly walk forward until arms are straight. Flex your abs and push your hips towards the ceiling. Keep your heels on the ground and gently try and straighten your knees. Hold for 30 seconds.